Review: The Laugharne Weekend

The Laugharne Weekend is one of the arts/literary festival circuit’s best kept secrets and I hope it stays that way. The last thing this tiny South Wales town – pronounced "Larn" – needs is to be overrun. The intimacy - only around 500 all-access wristbands are sold – is one of its charms. And if one show is full the weekend is scheduled to ensure you can get into something equally artistically satisfying somewhere else.

Review: This Country, Episode 6, Family Loyalties, BBC Three

After a successful first series, the second series of This Country has kept up the momentum and high quality level with six more glorious episodes. After last week's classic when Kerry failed to make it to the steam fair the series closes with an episode that has everything. Comedy, poignancy and dodgy Dyson hoovers.

Review: Travels With My Father, Netflix

After Romesh Ranganathan and his mum and Russell Howard and his mum, here comes Jack Whitehall and his dad Michael on a trip to the Far East – the gap year he never had crammed into five weeks. Of course, they’ve got previous, having already formed a successful broadcasting partnership on the talk show Backchat and the formula is repeated here - dad posh, curmudgeonly, son posh, innocent and well-meaning.

Review: Daniel Simonsen, Latitude 2017

Is Daniel Simonsen the world's least prolific stand-up comedian? While other comics come up with a new show every year Simonsen has been relatively quiet since he won the Best Newcomer Award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2012. He appeared in Vic and Bob's sitcom House of Fools, but he doesn't seem to have been that busy outside the live circuit.

Review: Rose Matafeo, Latitude 2017

New Zealand's Rose Matafeo isn't really a stand-up comedian at all. She is simply a force of nature. A whirlwind in human form ready to whip up a comedy storm from the moment she walks on and sends up her own speccy appearance.

Her short Latitude set was an impressive showcase of her various talents, from physical clowning to off-the-wall mini-sketches. It was equally daft and deft as she moved through the gears building up to frequent big laughs.

Review: Adam Hess, Latitude 2017

I find Adam Hess extremely funny but I wonder if he needs help. Maybe of the therapy kind or maybe of the directorial kind. Or maybe both. He is the kind of nerdy, neurotic comedian who cracks so many jokes it is sometimes hard to keep up with him. Particularly during the day at a festival in the sun where you might not have had a lot of sleep and are feeling a little delicate.

Review: Reginald D Hunter, Latitude 2017

The second day of comedy at Latitude was headlined by Reginald D Hunter. A month ago he broke his leg and since then he has been performing in a wheelchair. "I celebrated 20 years of being in England by breaking my ass," he quipped. Sit-down comedy doesn't seem to be holding him back though. He was as funny and thoughtful ever. Although if that really was vodka he was drinking I hope he was not breathalysed after he wheeled himself offstage.

Review: Brennan Reece, Latitude 2017

I've seen Brennan Reece four or five times now and I'm still not sure if he is gay or straight. He is certainly camp but not overtly so. Although maybe the waspish aside that he likes putting willies in his mouth is a bit of a clue. Or maybe not. 

Review: Susan Calman, Latitude 2017

Susan Calman revealed at the start of her set that she has recently bought a large property. After Trump was elected she thought she might as well go out in style: "If we are going to die we might as well die in a big house." She has latterly developed a fondness for thermostats, and certainly read the temperature of the Latitude crowd well, delivering a punchy set that warmed them up nicely for headliner Dara O Briain.

Review: Sara Pascoe, Live From The BBC, iPlayer

Well, they do say comedy is all about timing. This shortened version of Sara Pascoe’s last full-length show, just released as part of the BBC’s second Live from the BBC series, contains a chunk of material about the ups and downs of life with her boyfriend. The funny thing is that the last time I Sara Pascoe doing a club gig she was talking about having recently split up from the same boyfriend.


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